Arlie Shaban, Joe Stapleton Prank James Hartigan in 12 Labors Challenge

Arlie Shaban has moved another step closer to claiming a $30,000 PokerStars Platinum Pass, and this time it required him to rattle commentator James Hartigan.

Arlie Shaban

Arlie Shaban is now six challenges away from collecting a $30,000 PokerStars Platinum Pass. (Image: PokerStars/YouTube)

With the halfway point of the 12 Labors of Arlie Challenge approaching, the online grinder was instructed to take his cues from comedian and PokerStars prankster Joe Stapleton. Under strict instructions to stay away from social media, Shaban’s job was to make a play based on the ancient Greek myth of the Stymphalian birds.

Shaban Rattles Hartigan

In the original story, Hercules was forced to use a special rattle to disable a flock of man-eating birds. After shaking the device and shooting down his enemies, the eponymous hero was able to master the sixth of his 12 labors.

Attempting to recreate the challenge in today’s world, Shaban and Stapleton were required to generate as much awkward tension as they could. With Hartigan unaware of the ruse, the two players worked in unison to disrupt their PokerStars tablemate until he finally snapped.

Being a natural joker, the task came easy for Stapleton and it wasn’t long before Shaban’s antics rattled Hartigan and caused him to come crashing down. Among the pranks played by the Twitch streamer was a constant stream of wardrobe malfunctions and an investigation into Hartigan’s supposed history in the adult movie business.

When the ruse was finally revealed, the PokerStars presenter took it good spirits and congratulated Shaban on successfully making it to the halfway stage of his challenge.

For fans, this is the clearest example yet of how poker can be something more than a money-making pursuit. As PokerStars endeavored to do throughout the 12 Labors of Arlie, the promotion is showing the entertaining side of the game.

Poker-Entertainment Convergence

As the industry has evolved over the last decade, the crossovers between poker and entertainment  have become more apparent. Using Twitch as a springboard, streamers have taken a format made popular by pro gamers and found a way to attract casual viewers.

These innovations have allowed poker to find a place within the mainstream gaming community. Back in 2016, PokerStars sponsored eSports outfit Team Liquid and that’s led to a host of crossover promotions featuring gamers and poker players.

This ability to diversify has become crucial for the industry over the last decade. Between the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) and Black Friday in 2011, participation rates have fallen since the early days of online poker.

While some believe those highs will never return, operators are finding ways to entice new players. This change of attitude has seen numbers at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) steadily increase over the last seven years. Although the 2006 Main Event remains the gold standard, this year’s Big Dance become the second biggest ever with 7,874 unique entrants.

Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.


Newmember_5 wrote...

Very long post. Fact is that every poker pro just began little, here we see big prices. Streams and watching it live on tv got popular, everybody want to see how they win a million $. For poker players its more interesting than for not poker playing gamers. The 30k $ pokerstars platinum pass is so much wanted but only by some players reached. Everybody want to get poker pro thats why we watch them. Watch out to play like them. Maybe u will get then pro too.

VIP_TARIFF wrote...

a very interesting idea was recreated, I really liked it, I would also like to claim 30,000 $ platinum pass from pokerstars to surprise everyone with their poker capabilities.

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